I’m a Hueligan

I ordered some of this to give it a try. I need to simplify my lunches at work and it seemed like a good option.

My first impressions? I really like it. Chocolate is my favourite, but then it would be!

I’m hoping it’ll help me control my weight a little easier as it’s a measured meal (400 calories).

Needle Vs Gun

Contains graphic details – don’t read on if you’re squeamish.

My right ear has all been pierced using a needle, 1.6mm to be precise. I’ve now got three holes in it (the third one was done a few days ago).

My left ear has two holes pierced in the 1990’s, and one pierced about three months ago. All three were done with the gun.

So what’s the difference, I hear you say?

Well the gun is a bit of a brute force method of piercing your ear. The piercing of choice is limited to ones that fit inside the gun. The gun forces the stud through the ear pushing aside flesh. The hole is left tighter, and although better for thin jewellery, it’s not as good for body piercing pieces or tunnels.

The needle, on the other hand, is a hollow needle which is pushed through a little slower whilst the skin is held in place with forceps. It’s a more accurately positioned hole, and because it’s a hollow object it removes a tube of your skin and other tissues as it goes through. In my case all three are 1.2mm holes, the lower of which I’ve now stretched to 1.6mm to take a small tunnel piece. The hole in it allows light to shine through, although the angle has to be fairly accurate to actually see.

Which do I prefer?

Well the needle pierced ones have given me the least trouble. They took a little longer to heal, and the top one bled quite profusely when first pierced. They’re easier to get my jewellery into, but I’ve lost small studs (on a couple of occasions pulled through the holes).

The gun pierced ones are much tighter at gripping the jewellery, but I can’t get certain things through the holes as easily without risking injury.

Were I to start again from scratch, I’d definitely opt for needles all the way.

As an aside, when I was about 20 I had the helix pierced with the gun. I’ve since found out that this was totally wrong and cartilage should only be pierced using a needle as the gun risks cracking it. This is what happened to me and I had to remove the piercing permanently.

Amazing weather we’ve been having!

We’re definitely having some amazing weather right now. Plenty of opportunity for some great bike rides.

Biking is one of the ways I’m improving my fitness. Considering how unfit I have actually been at some points in my life I’m determined now as I approach 50 to never let myself get like that again.

My uncle died in his 60’s of heart failure caused by a sedentary lifestyle and the inevitable morbid obesity caused by such life choices, and I carry a lot of his genetics.

It seems like such an easy option to lay on the sofa playing Nintendo!

The newest bike.

It’s been a bit of an unlucky one so far, but I do love it. It’s an Orange frame from the late 90’s I’m led to believe – but it has been chopped around a little.

In one weekend I’ve snapped a derailleur mount, and now today I’ve now got a puncture and had to get a repair kit and spare inner tube from Halfords.

It has to said it looks cool, but not as cool as the BMX, although the lighting was far better today.

My stats are getting much better. I’m getting faster, my distance is increasing, and I’m spending more time in the healthy exercise heart rate areas. This was for a five and a bit mile run.

To continue a theme.

The fitness kick continues. I’m now over 5 miles on a ride and unlike previous rides I’m now no longer finishing exhausted. It’s amazing how quick your fitness starts to return when you make the demand of your body.

My waist hasn’t shrunk much, but I’ve noticed that the wobbly leftover of my old fat days is no longer as wobbly and my flab on my thighs, similar. I can feel muscles developing all the time and the tone of my calves and thighs improving beyond belief.

Even my weighing scales agree…

A physical week at work also helped though… I’m on three installs at the moment!

So this was week’s Saturday jaunt. A 5 mile run along the Trans Pennine Trail. Not too challenging, however, the thing that can be observed is that my times spent in each exercise area are changing. I’m no longer seeing much in Maximum but I’m getting a nice balance of aerobic and anaerobic which is apparently as it should be for someone of my fitness level and age. Too much in anaerobic and maximum without developing your fitness first can stress the heart and lead to cardiac problems.

As you’ll see though, I’m looking a lot more svelte! These are a 36″ waist trousers and the top is an XL. I’m definitely out of the XXL and 40″ waist now.

A bike!

So I started the week thinking I was getting chunky again. Not quite as bad as before, but the new scales made me realise just how inaccurate the old ones were; and boy were they bad.

As a scientist by training it’s always been within my mind that no equipment is good unless it is calibrated, and that calibration checked against a known good from time to time – so I am now weighing in on public scales as I can see the calibration labels on those and thus I’ll know if mine begin to fail again.

So, back to the bike. I decided I needed more exercise; and I needed both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. A bike delivers both of these to an extent and so I started making enquiries about exercise bikes. But then, I thought, exercise bikes are for the most part pointless and boring! It’s the same scenery all the time and unless you get a really expensive one they just simulate the same level of resistance.

Thus it was decided. I was going to get a real bike. But I always loved the simplicity of the BMX. No gears. A simple chain driven system. No fancy suspension. So I started looking around for BMX bikes.

Amazingly I discovered that they are now really popular! After virtually disappearing off the market 15 years ago they are now back in a big way and there were loads to choose from on Facebook Marketplace.

So I looked at sizes – a 6ft adult needs 20.5″ wheels and a 20 to 20.8″ crossbar for an optimum stunt performance whilst still being able to use the saddle if needed (not that you use the saddle much on a BMX).

I found this beauty.

20.5″ wheels and just over 20″ crossbar length. Not too far away either. So I went and collected it. I have to say I love the colour!

It’s official I now have a BMX! Last time I used a BMX was in about 1987 and it was my Diamond Back Silver Streak 2.

Yesterday we went out with them for the first time. I was reminded again that I’m not actually 16 as I finished off pretty much exhausted! But that’ll change. A gentle start to a regular exercise regime and I’ll soon start rebuilding my muscle structure.

Then again it was a -3°C day and with the wind it felt like -8°C! Definitely hard work there.

Today is Valentine’s Day. We’re going to have another short ride today. A couple of miles. Nothing too strenuous or hilly. Think of this as my couch to 10K…

I’m now looking at other exercises I can do to improve my muscle tone. I don’t want to be a beefcake; but a six pack would be lovely.

It’s a far cry from a few years ago.

I’ve just done my health check-up.

Blood pressure 113/77, SpO2 99%, Stress in the green. ECG pretty much as expected – no signs of any fibrillation.

I know I’m still overweight and I’m taking steps to deal with that. Getting a new set of scales was a big step – I realised my old ones were quite inaccurate and my BMI suddenly jumped 2 points from very high normal to overweight (I also use the calibrated scales at Boots once a month to check mine are accurate now, so this will never happen again).

My health is important to me. When I gain weight I get side effects. I used to have plantar fascitis, Hughes syndrome, Cellulitis and Reflux. All were weight related. All have now gone. I also suspect at one point i was borderline for developing type 2 diabetes.

Careful diet, regular checking, and plenty of exercise is the key. A horizontal lifestyle is a bad idea.

Physiotherapy

At the request of my physiotherapist I got a 1kg weight. It’s for stretching exercises for my injured lateral epicondyle.

The exercise involves putting my hand holding the weight palm down overhanging the edge of a table and then pulling my hand upwards with my other hand and then letting it drop back down over 30 seconds and resisting gravity. It hurts like hell but pain is good on this occasion.

I put a little weight on.

I suppose lockdown isn’t going to help that – I often walk into town to shop, and also we’re not doing any gigs. I’ve not weighed myself in a few months and I was quite surprised.

I didn’t feel fat, but I tried on one of my stagewear suits yesterday and it felt tight.